Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Are you Hangin' out on the Step?

Brennan, my son, just turned 1. He is a joy, and his smile and giggles will light up a room. Still, like any human, he was born into sin. He longs for independence and even at his young age, is constantly testing his boundaries. One boundary we have for Brennan is he's not allowed to climb up the stairs without me or his Mom watching him. It's a rule we have for his protection (he already took one tumble down the stairs). Brennan knows the rule, and yet probably 15-20 times a day he'll crawl over to the bottom step and look over at me or Julie. We'll say "Brennan, you need to stay downstairs" and he knows exactly what we mean...and yet, he lingers, hanging out on that bottom step, trying to resist the irresistible urge to climb.

6 "Then the LORD said to Cain, 'Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.' " (Genesis 4:6-7)

Like Brennan, all of us have areas in our life that we struggle to master. We are tempted in these areas constantly; fighting ourselves to overcome our human nature to sin. Temptation...it is always there. Here's the secret; if you hang out on the bottom step, your ability to resist sin is already lost. The key is not going anywhere near the steps!

14
 "...but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." (James 1:14-15)


Going back to Brennan, we do all we can to help him avoid this temptation. Before he gets disciplined, we'll usually pick him up and move him back to the living room where all his toys are. We'll even fire up one of those "noise-making" toys, or grab a couple of his favorite books, trying to divert his attention from the stairs. Sometimes it works, but more often than not, he's right back there, hanging out on the step.

It makes me wonder, how many times has God done the same for me? He gives me all these blessings, all these incredible gifts for me to enjoy, showing me the good-life and yet, I go crawling right back over to the step...hanging out on the edge of sin. You know what happens when you hang out on the edge of sin? It's like putting a man who struggles with lust in a room filled with pornography and telling him "don't look." It's an impossible battle to win.

The key is not to say "don't look" but to fill your life with good things that God has provided. Instead of thinking about avoiding temptation, fill your life with Worship, God's Word, Prayer, Family, Relationships, Community, Good Food. Get outside in Nature, Serve...get busy doing the good works that God prepared for you to do. As your life fills with these good things, you will have much less time for temptation and sin.

Are you hanging out on the step?

Remember;
Sin will take you further than you want to go. 
It will keep you longer than you want to stay,
and it will cost you more than you want to pay.

3 comments:

♥ cherelle said...

Ouch!

Paul said...

Great post. I'm teaching on James 1:14,15 this week, and I think I'll use your powerful illustration if that's ok.

Mike Weston said...

Of course it's ok!!!

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